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Conservatives set for Lancashire battering in general election, according to poll

Posted on - 9th June, 2024 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Chorley News, Fylde News, Politics, Preston News, Ribble Valley News, South Ribble News, Wyre News
Preston's skyline along the River Ribble Pic: Tony Worrall
Preston’s skyline along the River Ribble Pic: Tony Worrall

A new poll has suggested the Conservatives could be all but wiped out in Lancashire at next month’s general election.

The YouGov survey – which is based on the voting intentions declared by almost 60,000 people across the country – points towards 13 of the county’s 15 constituencies returning a Labour MP on 4th July.

There are varying degrees of certainty in the data, with Labour predicted to be “safe” in six seats and “likely” to win in four others – while three constituencies are said to ‘lean’ Labour.

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The only Lancashire seat in which the Tories were found to be ahead at this stage was Fylde, while Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle – who is not permitted a party affiliation – is expected to retain Chorley.

YouGov stresses that the model they have used “is not a forecast, but is designed to give a detailed, seat-by-seat look at the British political landscape”, just over a month away from the big vote.

If the results were ultimately replicated on election night, the Conservatives would lose eight of the nine MPs they currently have in Lancashire –  including veteran Ribble Valley representative Nigel Evans, who has held that seat for 32 years.   The poll predicts his seat – which will no longer contain Clitheroe and Whalley – is leaning towards Labour.

Also out would be:

***Paul Maynard, who has represented Blackpool North and Cleveleys since 2010 and is fighting to take the new Blackpool North and Fleetwood constituency (predicted to be “likely” to go Labour by YouGov);

***Antony Higginbotham, who became emblematic of the Conservatives victories in traditional Labour ‘red wall’ areas when he took Burnley for the Tories for the first time in history in 2019 (predicted to become “safe Labour” by YouGov);

***Sara Britcliffe, also elected in 2019, to represent Hyndburn (predicted to become “safe Labour” by YouGov);

***David Morris, who has held the Morecambe and Lunesdale seat since 2010 (predicted to “lean Labour” by YouGov);

***Jake Berry, former Northern Powerhouse minister, who has represented Rossendale and Darwen, also since 2010  (predicted to be “likely” to go Labour by YouGov);

***Andrew Stephenson, who has been Pendle’s representative since 2010 and is contesting the redrawn Pendle and Clitheroe seat (predicted to “lean Labour” by YouGov);

***Katherine Fletcher, elected to represent South Ribble in 2019 (predicted to be “likely” to go Labour by YouGov).

Even in Fylde, where YouGov’s poll suggests a Conservative victory, it is described as a “toss-up” – because the survey indicates a margin of victory of less than five percent.  In 2019, Mark Menzies – who is not standing this time around – secured a 60.9 percent share of the vote, compared to Labour on 25.3 percent.

Elsewhere, Blackpool South is predicted to be “safe Labour” – following the party’s by-election victory there only last month – along with the longstanding Labour seats of Preston, West Lancashire and Blackburn. Meanwhile, the new Lancaster and Wyre constituency – which takes in parts of the defunct Lancaster and Fleetwood and Wyre and Preston North seats is predicted to be “likely” to opt for Labour.

The YouGov poll was a so-called “multilevel regression and post-stratification” – or MRP – survey.   That is a statistical modelling technique which combines a large poll with other data in order to estimate the voting preferences of several different demographic groups in a particular area.

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